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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  May 13, 2013 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT

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so thank you for posing that question. >> congresswoman, really great pleasure to have you here. thank you so much. >> thank you very much. my pleasure, good luck to you and congratulations. >> thanks again to democratic house leader nancy pelosi for joining me earlier today. that's all in for this evening the rachel maddow show starts now. >> congratulations on that interview. that was riveting. >> thanks. >> thanks to you at home, as well, for staying with us for the next hour. on one of those news days where a lot of very big news broke only to be stepped on by the next big thing breaking a few minutes later. today, for example, a maintain into custody in detroit after a pressure cooker was found in his luggage at the detroit airport. he reportedly gave authorities a jumble of different stories explaining why he had this pressure cooker. pressure cookers, of course, were used to make the two bombs that blew up at the boston marathon less than a month ago so you could understand why authorities might be asking. the man detained in detroit was traveling under a saudi passport, which reportedly had a page ripped out of it. he's expected to be charged
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tomorrow with knowingly using an altered passport and making false statements to the authorities about the aforementioned pressure cooker. we'll have more on that story if and when we learn anything more about that. in philadelphia today, a jury found dr. kermit gosnell guilty. the revulsion of what went on in the clinic is universal, but the media coverage of his trial was polarizing. anti-abortion activists tried to make gosnell -- while the world has described him as a kind of back alley butcher they are trying to keep women safe from by protecting the right to access safe and legal abortion services. the new prime minister will be the old prime minister, the man in charge when pakistan became a nuclear power in the first place.
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he also tried to establish sharia law the last time he was in power. he was so hated there the military coupe that overthrew him was kind of seen as a relief even though it was a military. president obama spoke with david camer cameron, they each only took one question, but for each of them, it was one big long compound question with lots of dependent subparts. president obama did expound at some length at some exasperated length on how excited he sees republicans as being about the benghazi attack and the subsequent investigations. >> if this was some effort on our part to try to down play what had happened or tamp it down, that would be a pretty odd thing that three days later we end up putting out all the
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information that, in fact, has served as the basis for everybody recognizing this was a terrorist attack and that it may have included elements planned by extremists inside of libya. who executes some sort of cover-up or effort to tamp things down for three days? so the whole thing defies logic. and the fact that this keeps on getting churned out has to do with political motivations. >> president obama also saying today that the e-mails leaked on friday that showed the revision process for the administration's original talking points on benghazi, those revisions, those e-mails, that information had been released to congress months ago. congressional committees, he said reviewed them several months ago, concluded that in fact there was nothing afoul in terms of the process we used, but then suddenly three days ago, this gets spun up as if there's something new to the story.
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the president concluded by saying there's no there there. we'll have more to come this hour and the other story, the irs story that the president also reacted to very strongly and with very sharp language. all ahead this hour. but this is one of those news days when the news was breaking like waves in the ocean. just one thing after the other. the largest late breaking wave of news today was about the associated press. it is a story that both broken by the "associated press," and it is a story about them, as well. in what seems to be an unprecedented action, the department of justice has written to the "associated press" informing them that the justice department has been spying on their reporters. in a big widespread open-ended way in the "a.p." got no notice about until receiving the letter. specifically the justice department says it secretly obtained two months worth of phone records for more than 20 "a.p." phone lines.
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includes the main a.p. numbers in washington, d.c. and hartford, connecticut, as well as the a.p. officer for reporters who cover the house of representatives. and it covers the work phone numbers and the personal phone numbers for five "a.p." reporters and their editor. now, there's no indication that the justice department housed the recorded content of those phone calls. but what they've got, apparently, at least, the incoming call numbers, the outgoing call numbers, and the duration of each call. now, in response to this notificati notification, the "a.p." sent a scathing letter to eric holder. there can be no justification for an overbroad, these reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the news gathering activities undertaken by the a.p. during a two-month period, provide a road map to the news gathering operations and disclose information about "a.p.'s" activities and
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operations that the government has no conceivable right to know. the "a.p." demands, quote, you immediately return to the records the department subpoenaed and destroy all copies also ask for an immediate explanation as to why this extraordinary action was taken and a description of the steps the justice department will take to mitigate its impact on "a.p." and its reporters. now, in its letter to the "a.p." that started this, that provoked that response, the justice department did not explain why it sought the news organization's records. did not give details or justifications for targeting the "a.p." let alone in a broad way. we do know these were the reporters and the editor whose records were seized by the justice department. and connecting the dots, we know that these five reporters and that one editor all contributed to an "a.p." blockbuster report last year. that the cia had infiltrated an al qaeda plot to blow up an airliner.
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the bomb was a more advanced version the so-called underwear bomber attempted to use on christmas day in 2009. here was nbc news reporting at the time. >> this is a remarkable success for the intelligence agencies of the united states and its allies. and here's why. they managed to insert a critical informant into the very heart of the terror group that's considered the number one threat to the united states. al qaeda's offshoot in yemen. >> reporter: administration and intelligence officials say by the time this most recent plot was in its final planning stages, the u.s. and its allies were able to follow it in detail. what the terrorists in yemen did not know at the time these officials say is that the person they chose to be the suicide bomber was actually an informant, someone who had agreed to cooperate with an ally intelligence service. members of congress declined to be specific but praised the cia and the overseas counterparts. >> this was incredibly good
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intelligence work. this is intelligence at its best. >> after the al qaeda operatives turned over the finished bomb, the informant than drove it safely out of yemen where it was eventually turned over to the united states. >> that was part of the "nbc nightly news" broadcast on this subject about a year ago. that was one day after the "a.p." published the big scoop. now, the "a.p." did not report that specific point that the cia apparently had an infiltrator inside al qaeda. they what? right? the "a.p." was first to report that the cia disrupted this bomb plot. that would seem like good p.r. for the administration, right? except that the al qaeda bomb plot that was foiled was supposed to go down on the one-year anniversary of the death of osama bin laden. eight days before that anniversary, the white house press secretary jay carney had been very reassuring that there was nothing to worry about concerning that anniversary. >> at this time, we have no credible information that terrorist organizations including al qaeda are plotting attacks in the u.s. to coincide
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with the anniversary of bin laden's death. >> and then ten days later, the "a.p." reports, actually, quote, the cia thwarted an ambitious plot to destroy a u.s.-bound airliner using a bomb with a sophisticated new design around the one-year anniversary of the killing of osama bin laden. and now the "a.p." reporters and editor who broke that story as well as the whole headquarters in new york and washington and hartford connecticut have all been subject to an unprecedented broad, weeks long spying effort by the justice department that they were not told about until after the fact and we've never really heard of anything like this before. within the last hour, the white house denied prior knowledge of the justice department's investigation saying, quote, other than press reports, we have no knowledge of any attempt by the justice department to seek phone records of the "a.p." we are not involved in situations as they are handled independently by justice, any
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questions about an ongoing investigation should be directed to the department of justice. is this legal? can you say in an uncomplicated way this is legal? is it unprecedented? when do we get an explanation and from whom should we expect it? joining us now is michael isokoff, thank you for being with us. >> good to be with you, rachel. >> what are justice department officials telling you about why they didn't tell the "a.p." about these phone records about them spying on "a.p." reporters and editors and news headquarters until after the fact? until after they'd already done it? >> well, what they are doing is pointing to justice department guidelines or at least select portions of justice department guidelines saying that they will not notify news organizations if doing so would pose a clear and substantial threat to the integrity of the investigation.
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in other words, tipping off the "a.p." to this probe would allow them to tip off their sources and jeopardize the probe. now, that can be interpreted in a number of different ways, but the most ominous for at least the sources of the "a.p." or suspected sources here would be that they're close to bringing a criminal case. but what's really remarkable about this -- this disclosure today is it is not unprecedented for the justice department to secretly get the phone records of reporters. we've seen it in a number of cases over the last few years, a number of criminal cases, the "new york times" reporter had his phone records and credit card records and bank records all secretly subpoenaed. what's remarkable here is the sweeping nature of this, the dragnet approach. it's not a select subpoena for a particular journalist who they
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suspect got information from a particular source. this was a subpoena for more than 20 phone lines over two months, a two-month period, multiple "a.p." offices, new york, washington, the "a.p." office, capitol hill, home records, cell phone records, that's why you have some press watchdog groups tonight and freedom of the press groups saying this is positively nixonian. they have not seen a precedent for this in decades. >> on that issue of how widespread this dragnet was, as you put it, doesn't that affect whether or not this is legal? don't justice department rules upon this sort of thing say that things have to be targeted as narrowly as possible in order to protect the freedom of the press? that's why i'm wondering whether or not we've crossed over from bad taste in political intimidation into illegality. >> well, there are justice department regulations on this
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who -- which do state these subpoenas for news organizations should be crafted as narrowly as possible for a limited period of time. and that's what the "a.p." in that extraordinary letter it wrote to attorney general holder today saying seems to be flouted here. but they're regulations, they're not laws. and this is a criminal investigation and they do have the absolute legal authority to do this any way they want. but they would have to explain why they're not following their own guidelines and regulations. >> who do you expect that explanation to come from? obviously the white house statement tonight makes it seem like everyone should direct their questions to eric holder. is that who you expect will have to explain this? who do you think -- >> well, it is very interesting because there's a lot of confusion about who answers this. holder appointed last june two
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u.s. attorneys to conduct two high-profile leak investigations. this being one of them, the u.s. attorney in washington, d.c. and there's another one involving the iranian computer virus being handled by the u.s. attorney in maryland, rod rosenstein. what's not clear is holder's own role. because holder testified shortly thereafter that he himself had been interviewed for this investigation as that fbi director bob muller and as we've since learned john brennan because they all had prior knowledge of this -- of the matter that was -- the information that had been leaked. so it would be highly unusual for the attorney general to have been interviewed in investigation and then play an active role. earlier today i had a justice department official tell me that holder had been recused himself in this investigation. i've been trying to confirm that myself all night and have not
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gotten a clear answer. i was told i would get one by the tile the show has aired. i have not gotten it yet. it is unclear who exactly approved this. if holder was, it could have been another high-level official, the acting deputy attorney general, head of the criminal division. we don't know who exactly approved it and we haven't gotten clear answers from the justice department tonight. >> and if it turns out it is a clear flouting of justice department, as you say regulations on how broad these kind of subpoenas can be, then it'll be all the more important to find out who gave the okay. michael, thank you for helping us figure this out. appreciate it. >> thank you. we've got lots more to come, including what president obama today called outrageous. he called it outrageous and called it outrageous twice. that's next. [ female announcer ] doctors trust calcium plus vitamin d to support strong bones.
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many choose us because we have the largest 4glte network. others, because of our reputation for reliability. or maybe it's because we've received jd power and associates' customer service award 4x in a row. in the end, there are countless reasons. but one choice. let me take the irs situation first. i first learned about it from the same news reports i think most people learned about this. i think it was on friday. and this is pretty straightforward. if, in fact, irs personnel engaged in the kind of practices that had been reported on and were intentionally targeting conservative groups, then that's outrageous. there's no place for it.
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and they have to be held fully accountable because the irs as an independent agency requires absolute integrity and people have to have confidence they're applying it in a nonpartisan way, applies laws in a nonpartisan way. and, you should feel that way regardless of party. i don't care if you're a democrat, republican, or independent. at some point they're going to be republican administrations, at some point there are going to be democratic ones. either way, you don't want the irs ever being perceived to be biased and anything less than neutral in terms of how they operate. so this is something that i think people are properly concerned about. the ig is conducting its investigation and, you know, i am not going to comment on their
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specific findings prematurely. but i can tell you that if you've got the irs operating in anything less than a neutral and nonpartisan way, then that is outrageous, it is contrary to our traditions and people have to be held accountable and it's got to be fixed. we'll wait and see what exactly all the details and facts are. but i've got no patience for it, i will not tolerate it and we'll make sure we find out exactly what happened on this. >> president obama speaking today at a press conference with uk prime minister david cameron. in 2010, it was the citizens united decision of the supreme court that said that people and even corporations can make unlimited donations to influence our american elections. and if you wanted to make your unlimited donation anonymously, you should make your big fat unlimited anonymous donation to a category of political organizations that is widely
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considered to be considered a joke. the rule for making your donation anonymously is the group you're donating to can't be too terribly political. it has to be a social welfare organization which sounds really comy, right, welfare and social. in reality, the supposedly social welfare groups are mostly not trying to intervene in elections at all, just trying to promote the social welfare, right? that's the rule about them. they're not supposed to mostly be political groups, they're just about social welfare. but in reality, those groups ended up throughout the campaign season putting on ads like this. >> to protect america's patient-centered care, we must replace president obama, americans for prosperity is responsible for the content of this advertising. >> yeah, americans for prosperity, incidentally referencing the election there, mostly concerned with social welfare. >> obama's solution is to spend even more and raise taxes? really? we've got to take away president
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obama's blank check. >> hasn't your social welfare been improved by seeing that? nothing to do with the election, right? when president george w. bush was in office, those were called 527s. under president barack obama, the type on the right, those are called 501c4 organizations. there are some democratic leaning 501c4s, as well. they tend to look something like this. >> cheering on our colleges and their students, something we're all in favor of, but republicans want to take away that support. but president obama has a plan to help. >> it's a joke, right? it's a joke that these groups are not set up to be political actors, but tax law says that intervening in elections can't be most of what these groups are about. and it is an absolute farce. but that is the tax code and after citizens united cleared the way for unlimited donations,
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the number of these types of groups in american politics went from something like 1,500 for the 2010 elections to something like 3,400 for the 2012 elections. and the irs scandal that broke on friday, this irs scandal that president obama discussed today while standing next to david cameron in the white house. the scandal is about how the irs handled that huge influx of new organizations applying for tax exempt status while also engaged in some degree of political activity under this farcical part of the tax code. starting friday, reports have surfaced that the irs and handling these types of claims singled out groups that had the word tea party or word patriots in their name. and while that might reasonably be a way to find groups that were actually mostly interested in political activity rather than social welfare, it is not fair to apply extra irs scrutiny and questioning to those groups who are obviously engaged in political activity on the right if you are not also applying that scrutiny to groups who are engaged in political activity on
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the left. it is the imbalance, right? and thus far, we have no evidence that they were applying equal scrutiny to groups on the left side of the ideological spectrum. the irs official who on friday apologized for this targeting of conservative groups documents released since that initial apology on friday have shown that she actually took some action to stop the targeting of conservative groups as soon as she heard about it. she apparently was briefed on the fact that irs workers were doing this targeting of tea party groups. she was briefed about it on june 29th, 2011. within a week on july 5th, 2011, she already insisted they revise the criteria that the irs was using to make it more ideologically neutral. six months later in january of this past year, the irs revised the criteria that it was using to decide on the level of scrutiny the different levels would get. and this we learned today was the new criteria they were using as of january of last year. i'm going to put it up on the
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screen so you can see for yourself. this is being widely described today in the reporting on the scandal as being a set of criteria that obviously still targeted conservatives. i don't actually read it that way at all. if you're going after groups that are talking about either limiting or expanding government. kind of seems to me that is ideologically neutral. groups should get more scrutiny from the irs than they have gotten in the past. it just can't be that the only ones getting that additional scrutiny are on the right or on the left. it has to be balanced, right? it has to be ideologically neutral in the application. we will know more when the inspector general report should come out. if not tomorrow, in the next couple of days. already getting leaks from what is in that report. the reason, though, this whole scandal has landed like a depth char charge, the reason this has landed this way is because this
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doesn't just resinate for the conservatives who feared apparently correctly they are being singled out for extra scrutiny under the irs under barack obama because they were conservatives. this kind of thing also resinates for everyone else too because there is a reasonable fear by all of us, by any of us that the kind of power the irs has could be misused, that the irs is an agency that the federal government could be used by the federal government to retaliate against political enemies and try to shape political outcomes in some way. it's been done before, we're all reasonably worried that it will happen again. that fear is being felt right now by conservatives. you can go way back with this stuff, but there are recent examples, even just in recent history of people feeling it on the other side of the spectrum. just in 2004, that was the election year between john kerry and george w. bush. the naacp released a letter they'd been sent by the irs. the quote from it singled out by
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"politico" who remembered the story and connected it. quote, we have received information that during your '04 convention in philadelphia, your organization distributed statements in opposition of george w. bush for the office of presidency. whether or not that irs letter was properly sent to the naacp, the impression that the irs would in an election year go after the president's critics, that is a powerful impression. that same year, the irs wrote to a liberal church in southern california whose pastor invited a guest to give an anti-war sermon, an anti-iraq war sermon. the irs heard about that and responded by threatening to take away the church's tax exempt status on the basis of the content of the sermon. the church's local congressman, democrat adam schiff ended up meeting with the commissioner of the irs to express his concerns about that when that happened back after the '04 election. so the inspector general's report on what's going on with the irs and whether or not they
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were targeting groups on the right without targeting groups on the left, whether that was a mistake that was found and fixed and over. whether it's been an ongoing problem or wider problem, a policy decision made by somebody higher up who ought to be fired or whether god forbid it could have been a political decision made for strategic reasons. we're going to get more information about all of that when the inspector general's report comes out which is going to be soon. but if you want to know why everybody has their hair on fire on this, left, right and center all the way up to the president, why the republicans and the president himself are furious and nobody is defending what happened here at all, the history of worry and well-founded worry about the irs being used for political reasons, that is why everybody's so upset. hi, i'm amy for downy unstopables in-wash scent boosters, here with my favorite new intern, jimmy. mmm! fresh! and it's been in the closet for 12 weeks! unbelievable! unstopables! follow jimmy on youtube.
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this is pretty straightforward. if, in fact, irs personnel engaged in the kind of practices that have been reported on and were intentionally targeting conservative groups, that's outrageous. and there's no place for it. and they have to be held fully accountable. >> joining us now is congressman adam schiff, democrat of california calling for an investigation into the irs to encompass both the obama administration and the previous administration. congressman schiff, thank you very much for being with us tonight. >> good to be with you, rachel.
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>> one of the reasons i wanted to talk to you tonight was not just because what you're calling for in response to this current scandal, but also the way you've responded when a liberal church in your district where an antiwar sermon had been given around the time of the '04 election, they got what they perceived to be a harassing letter from the irs. how did you view that at the time? and what happened when you contacted the irs on their behalf? >> well, the concern i had at the time was here was a progressive church that invited a former pastor to give a sermon on war issues and got more than a letter from the irs, go the a full audit, very expensive lengthy audit by the irs. and this was at the same time, rachel, when other prominent churches were denying communion to the democratic candidates close to the election in a way to me telegraphed more who they thought ought to be the winners of the vote of their congregation much more than anything was said in this progressive pasadena
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congregation. it made me wonder whether the irs was selectively enforcing and auditing churches based on the message during the bush administration. i raise this issue along with one of my republican and libertarian colleagues with the irs. i sat down with the commissioner, we wrote to the gao to look at this to figure out were they being even handed? targeting the progressive churches? and basically, rachel, i got nowhere. the irs wasn't willing to divulge any information. what were the results of those audits? even the stuff that wouldn't give away information about particular taxpayers, but they weren't willing to be forthcoming. and it makes me wonder whether this is a more systemic problem that was in the past administration and also in the present administration. >> how do you think that we should go about finding, as a member of congress, finding out if the irs is just screwing up or if they are grinding a political ax?
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what thread do you pull to find that out? >> well, looks like the inspector general has done pretty good work and may be we'll want to ask the inspector general to broaden the investigation that they're doing. and certainly when the house oversight committees look at the inspector general report, i think it may be worthwhile for them to look more broadly at the current allegations. but i think you're absolutely right, this is a flawed system to begin with, many of the social welfare organizations are a sham, but to the degree that this is the current law, make sure we have an irs that administers that law very even handedly in a politically neutral way. i'd love for us to see congress take action in doing away with this anonymous capability to donate to these organizations. i think that would diminish the problem very considerably. >> in terms of the social welfare groups and the even-handed application of this sham part of the tax code, which is an awkward thing, isn't there a possibility that at the end of the day here what we're going to
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end up with is an irs that has been embarrassed by either screwing up or making a very bad judgment call here? and they're going to be more shy than they already are from rightfully investigating groups that are abusing the 501c4 status? should that just be changed? if congress can or by some other means so that there isn't such a temptation with that part of the tax code? >> rachel, you're absolutely right. the downside of all of this is the irs is going to be that much more reluctant to wade into this to investigate any group for fear of claim of bias. but we really need the irs here because these provisions are being distorted beyond any recognition of what they used to be about. it mean, social welfare organizations used to actually be about social welfare and not just for people in swing states or swing districts around election time. so we've gotten very far off the original purpose of this code section and i think congress ought to move to either repeal it or at least require
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disclosure to take away the incentive for these massive organizations to be funneling anonymous contributions. the worst thing that would come out of this, though, i think is exactly what you're saying. and that is even more freedom for abuse for these 501c4s. >> adam schiff, democrat of california, thank you very much for helping us through this tonight. thank you for being here. >> appreciate it. >> the congressman was saying about the difficulty of investigating these things is going to be very important here. what's happened in previous either irs scandals or attempted irs scandals, a lot of the things you've seen ended up boiling down to the fact that the irs is either constrained by or can hide behind laws that are designed to protect the privacy of tax-related information. and so investigations of them don't get very far. a lot is hanging on this inspector general report that's due out tomorrow or in the next couple of days going to be really important to see what they conclude and the scope of what they were able to investigate. my guess is there's going to be high-level leadership in order
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for seeing your business's cash flow like never before, introducing cash flow insight powered by pnc cfo. a suite of online tools that lets you turn insight into action. i have said the change, the culture of death to a culture of life. and the only way to do is it everybody find out who they are and to stop them from doing it and say we're not tolerating this anymore. >> that's mitch landrieu explaining to a shocked city what happened at a broad daylight multiple gunmen mass shooting at the epitome of a family event. a mother's day celebration in his city. as of now, no arrests in the case. there were 19 people wounded, including two kids. the "a.p." just announced moments ago a suspect has been identified in the shooting but nobody has yet been apprehended.
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just terrible news out of new orleans yesterday. 2:00 and new orleans is not getting used to this terrible news they keep getting. the state of louisiana has the second highest rate of gun homicides in the country. it is a problem in new orleans and louisiana that is not getting better, it is getting worse. but if the state's leadership wants to do anything as a matter of policy to try to stop the gun violence on the streets of new orleans, in one important respect they are stopped from being able to do anything. bobby jindal stumped for an amendment in his state, establishing strict scrutiny for any laws related to guns in the whole state of louisiana. the new law essentially primp l privileges the second amendment in such a way that even the kind of gun laws that everybody has, the most basic gun laws like if you're a convicted felon you can't buy a gun. even though laws that everybody has, those are in jeopardy in louisiana and are, in fact, being overturned by lower courts
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who feel like they have to overturn those laws because of that nra supported change in the state constitution. since the elementary school massacre at newtown, connecticut, in december, the only changes that we have had in policy have been at the state level. but honestly, the only states that have enacted stricter laws on guns, taken action to reduce gun violence are basically blue states. new york, colorado, california, maryland, connecticut, blue states are acting. red states are not. or if they are in states like louisiana where you might think the case for reform would be the strongest. those states are running in the opposite direction. joining us now is the chairman of mayors against illegal guns, chief policy adviser to michael bloomberg. thank you very much for being here. >> thank you. >> why is it that many red states are getting worse gun laws even after newtown not better? >> you know, it is 2:00 tragic in yesterday's mother's days events just drive home the problem that 33 people are
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murdered a day by guns in this country and too many people are shrugging and not doing anything about it. the good news is after newtown, five states have put in background checks laws, some supported by republicans, some supported by democrats, some with the support of a-rated nra officials. and we've got now four states that are considering them, including nevada. so with states like nevada and colorado, we are seeing more than just states in new england. we are seeing more than just -- >> the purple states -- >> getting into purple states. here's the tragedy of it. there are 14 states in this country that have actually closed the background check loopholes so that background checks are required at gun shows or on the internet and those states are safer. in the states that have closed those loopholes, 38% less murders of domestic partners with a gun. in states that have closed those
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loopholes, 49% less suicides with a gun. in states that have closed those loopholes, 17% less aggravated assaults with a gun, including attempted murder. and we have examples of states when they've done just the opposite like missouri that used to be an all permit state. when they rescinded it, murders with guns went up 25%. and so for those people who sort of say laws don't matter, in fact, we've got proof that laws do matter and they keep people safer. and why would any elected official in this country not want to keep its constituents safer? >> with that experience in which some states who have reformed their gun laws having positive outcomes and the opposite being true for states that have gone the opposite direction, does that actually give you the toe hold that you need to try to move senators and members of congress from various states toward your chosen policy outcomes of the federal level? >> look, i think more states that pass these laws, the better
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we're going to be on the federal level and you see some real profiles and courage in state legislators, because i think state legislators often are like mayors. they see this issue up close and personal. it's not abstract to them. like mayors, they're the people that have to deal with the violence in their neighborhoods and in their streets and so i think that's why you're seeing some states with legislators really compelled. and so those are really courageous stories. unfortunately, we're not seeing that courage always on the national level. and i think, you know, kelly ayotte in new hampshire is a perfect example of it. the only senator in new england, including sue collins who voted against the manchin/toomey background check first ayotte tried to rationalize it, it was too much of a burden on gun -- gun owners and then there was data that showed that, in fact, 99% of gun owners live within ten miles of a licensed dealer where they would get the
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background check that only takes 90 seconds. the senator said we problem was it would create a registry, but as you know in the toomey/manchin bill, it makes it a fact, it makes it a felony punishable by 15 years in jail, so it was very disappointing she voted against it. but what was shocking was that now she's saying that by voting for the grassley cruz amendment, she voted to fix background checks, now the nra is running ads like senator rubio saying she fixed it, it did nothing to fix it. >> that's like telling the neilson company you're watching the rachel maddow show and getting credit for watching sean hannity. a different ball of wax. >> nobody is buying it i think in new hampshire. within the past couple days, there have been editorials in the paper all seeing through this, saying she didn't try to
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fix background checks. she in fact did the opposite. i don't think 89% of people want background checks so people that are felons and dangerously mentally ill can't buy guns, i don't think they buy it more than editorial boards of the papers do. >> john feinblatt, chief policy adviser to mayor bloomberg. nice to have you here. >> thank you very much. all right. in space, no one can hear you sing mostly. hold on. that's next. ♪ ♪
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moment of geek. this is a capsule undocking from the international space station a couple hours ago, carrying three of the six members of expedition 35 back to earth. now you have probably heard of the expedition 35 commander, canadian astronaut. you may have only started from him yesterday when he was singing david bowie song space
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odyssey rattled around the internet. commander hatfield has been doing everything possible to keep people interested on what's going on in space. he talked to william shatner from star trek. the conversation started on twitter and spoke in real time with one of them here and one of them in space. then the first ask me anything from space. then the first puck drop from space at a toronto maple leafs game. first sing along with ed robertson from bare naked ladies. and choir leading school children in canada in song. another youtube video he posted from space, what it looks like when you ring out a wet washcloth in micro gravity, what happens when you open a can of mixed nuts in space, which i find mesmerizing. he reported on why there's no crying in space, nowhere for tears to go. commander hatfield's twitter feed jumped from 20,000 followers when he launched to
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800,000 as he heads back to earth. the video your mom will tell you to watch before the week is out, video of him doing david bowie, seen by 2 million earthlings already. ♪ ground control to major tom, the time is near ♪ ♪ not too long, can you hear me major tom, can you hear me major tom ♪ ♪ can you hear me major tom. ♪ >> this is not karaoke, dude is singing, unabashed excitement, understand why this is not embarrassing. let's turn to a fake astronaut, will wheaton who played on star trek next generation. she asked him to record a message to her infant daughter, explaining why being a nerd is a cool thing. this is his message.
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>> it is not about what you love. it is about how you love it. so there's going to be a thing in your life you love, and i don't know what it is going to be, might be sports, might be science, might be reading, it might be fashion design, it might be building things, it might be telling stories by taking pictures, doesn't matter what it is. the way you love that and the way that you find other people who love it the way you do is what makes awesome. the defining characteristic of us in the room, i am going to ask your mom to turn this camera around, go ahead. [ cheers and applause ] the defining characteristic that ties us all together is that we
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love things. don't let anyone tell you that that thing that you love is a thing you can't love. don't ever let anyone tell you you can't love that, that's for boys. you have to love this because you're a girl. you find the things that you love and you love them the most that you can. >> the nerd and them. you find the things that you love and love them the most that you can. the thing that has been so cool about commander chris hatfield on this space station mission is that the thing he obviously loves most in the world is space and his earnestness about it is the coolest thing in the world. for the rest of us, here is hoping we all find something to geek out about. now time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." have a great night. tonight here in washington, the one senator who never, ever, ever does national tv, the one senator who is always getting invited on every national television show and not just political shows, news shows, jay and dave would